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Weather Academy: How to make a cloud in a jar

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Cloud in a Jar

CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- The Weather Academy stopped visiting schools a while ago, but the still have more science to share.

Our last demonstration requires 5 key items:

  1. Hot water
  2. Sandwich bag of Ice
  3. (Preferably) Glass Jar with metal lid
  4. Incense stick
  5. Lighter

Note: Items four and five can collectively be replaced with hair spray.


  1. Pour hot water in glass jar.
    • This will provide plenty of warm, moist, air necessary for cloud development, inside the jar.
  2. (with parent's permission) Light incense stick and wave around inside jar. Extinguish safely.
    • This provides tiny particles called condensation Nuclei. Water vapor will more easily condense onto these small floating surfaces, making your cloud easier to create.
  3. Place metal lid on jar, and place bag of ice on top of lid.
    • The ice will make the lid cold. This will also cool the air at the top of the jar. Hot air will rise, cool, and condense. As this process repeats, your jar will become progressively cloudier.


  • A cloud will form in your jar until the water cools, and ice melts.

We thank you for welcoming our meteorologists into your schools to share their love for weather and science.
You can look back on our previous adventures here.

John Ross

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